Let’s set things straight, migraines are terrible, but vestibular migraines? That’s another story. If you are one of those diagnosed with vestibular migraines, you know the great discomfort it brings. Safe to say, it’s having a migraine episode and a vertigo attack simultaneously. Unimaginable, right, sadly, it happens, and some people are living with this condition. Every chiropractor for migraines has seen patients exhibit combined symptoms of vertigo and migraines. It occurs to about 7% of patients consulting at dizziness clinics and 9% consulting at migraine clinics.
If you’ve been experiencing recurrent spontaneous vertigo, vestibular migraine might be the culprit. It’s also the second most common inner ear disorder following benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Vestibular Migraines Symptoms
So, how do you know if it’s a vestibular migraine? Apart from the typical migraine symptoms such as pounding or throbbing headache, severe and progressive pain, sensitivity to sound, light, or odors, nausea that may lead to vomiting, and sometimes visual disturbances, you can experience the following symptoms too:
- Random vertigo attacks
- Dizziness from moving objects such as cars or people
- Motion sickness when moving the body, head, or eyes
- False rocking sensation as if you’re in a boat
- Balance issues
- Inability to focus the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Nausea and vomiting
- Panic and anxiety
- Neck pain
Vestibular Migraines Triggers
We encourage you to understand your triggers before finding ways to manage your vestibular migraine. So before you take any medicine or visit a chiropractor for migraines, it will help you be more familiar with your vestibular migraine triggers and more efficient in managing them.
Apart from common symptoms of classic migraine, vestibular migraine may also stem from environmental or food triggers, weather changes, or hormonal imbalance. Check out this list to understand what might be triggering your vestibular migraine episodes:
- Sleep disturbances
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Low blood sugar (often caused by skipping meals)
- Changes in barometric pressure
- Certain medications
We recommend having a migraine diary to help you understand if you have a classic migraine or a vestibular migraine. Logging your symptoms and other factors such as how you feel, activities you did before the episode, and even the weather can tell much about how your patterns develop. This will also be useful to help you counter and possibly prevent future attacks.
Managing Vestibular Migraine
1. Identifying your triggers
By identifying your triggers, you can efficiently manage your symptoms by avoiding what is necessary or understanding which direction you should take to get the proper care.
With the help of some supplements, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of migraine attacks. Riboflavin, for example, plays a significant role in producing cellular energy in the body. In addition, its role in mitochondrial energy metabolism makes it potentially effective in helping manage migraine.
Magnesium can help with migraine-related headaches. Magnesium oxide is frequently used in pill form to help prevent migraine. You can also get a good dose of magnesium sulfate via IV.
Another natural supplement is Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10, which has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals in the cells to protect your mitochondria, prevent inflammation, and reduce migraine attacks’ duration.
Before incorporating any supplements, you must consult your healthcare provider to get the proper dose and ensure it’s safe, especially if you have other pre-existing conditions or are taking maintenance medicine.
Some medications for vertigo may also be used for vestibular conditions, including vestibular migraines. Your trusted doctor can walk you through what medications are safe to use, how frequent, and the proper dose to ensure you take them correctly and efficiently. This can also help support your other efforts for lasting relief; hence a doctor’s advice is necessary to ensure it’s not counterproductive.
Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, and other medications.
4. Lifestyle changes
If your lifestyle has been significantly triggering vestibular migraine episodes, a chiropractor for migraines may point out some significant lifestyle changes you can take to minimize your episodes. Making some lifestyle modifications would also help to get relief from vestibular migraines. Stress management, trigger prevention, and regular exercise would also benefit patients.
Your diet also plays an essential role in managing your vestibular migraine episodes. By keeping a migraine diary, you can study what particular food triggers your symptoms. This way, you can choose to replace them or remove them from your intake to help with your symptoms. One method you can try is an elimination diet where you remove foods or groups that you suspect trigger or worsen your symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no detailed guide for an elimination diet because people respond differently to foods; therefore, your attention is required to help you personalize your pattern and observe if it improves or worsens your condition.
Healthy sleeping habits can do wonders too. Sleep helps regenerate damaged cells,, so you need just the right amount of sleep to help your body rest and recover. On the other hand, poor sleep quality and too little and too much sleep can eventually trigger vestibular migraines and even increase your stress levels, worsening your episodes.
5. Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Patients often get frustrated over the vicious cycle of managing symptoms that do not last long. However, sometimes there’s an underlying cause that many patients are unfamiliar with, and if only they knew about it early on, the faster they can get lasting relief.
The leading cause of vestibular migraine remains unclear, but experts have seen a link to nerve irritation and blood flow problem. A chiropractor for migraines has seen patterns of vestibular migraines in their patients who are also experiencing an upper cervical spine misalignment.
You’re probably wondering what the upper cervical spine alignment has to do with vestibular migraines.
Some migraines are linked to a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, where you will find the C1 and C2, the topmost bones of the spine. These two vertebrae are prone to shifting out of alignment because they facilitate the movement of the head in different directions making their function, shape, and mobility vulnerable. Even a minor misalignment can cause a problem in your central nervous system. Unknowingly, misalignments can occur if you trip and fall or experience a minor injury to the head, which can all trigger an onset of symptoms, some immediate, some may take some time.
A misalignment in your upper cervical spine can impact the body. It can irritate nerves and impair blood flow to the brain. These are often the situations that lead to migraines. Upper cervical chiropractic care slowly moves the neck’s bones back in their positions more naturally without force. Sometimes, this is what migraine patients need to experience a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of their migraine episodes. Some patients experience lasting relief and even elimination of symptoms after a series of adjustments from an upper cervical chiropractor.
Ask Help From an Upper Cervical Chiropractor for Migraines
To achieve long-term relief from vestibular migraine, you can consult an upper cervical chiropractor. If this is your first time and is unsure where to find a reliable chiropractic doctor, you can visit our Upper Cervical Chiropractic Doctors directory.
Just narrow your search to your location, and you will find chiropractic doctors who practice different upper cervical care techniques such as upper cervical care, Blair, NUCCA, Knee Chest, and others. These specially designed techniques can help correct your upper cervical spine, help eliminate symptoms of vestibular migraine, and restore your overall health.